Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

All of us at the Quilt and Needle, are wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas, and a wonderful New Year!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

More Christmas memories....

This time, the memories come from Nola. A custom of her family. Welcome back Nola.

Strange but Wonderful - - -

one of my family's Christmas customs

Have you ever seen real candles lit on a real Christmas tree? Oh, I know – very dangerous! But oh so beautiful to behold! My family always had two Christmas trees – a long-needled Scotch pine for upstairs, and a short-needled variety for the family room in the basement. This family room in itself is quite a sight to see – knotty-pine paneling (aka “boxcar siding”) on the walls, a big stone fireplace, made from rocks called geodes from Bedford, Indiana, Mom's homemade braided rugs on the floors, most of the furnishings are antiques, including oil lamps for light.

But – back to the Christmas trees. Sometimes the tree for the family room was a cut tree and sometimes a live tree with a ball of dirt attached. It would be planted in the yard after the holidays. We had these antique candle holders that had formerly belonged to my grandpa's brother, Uncle Phil. They consisted of a circle of tin cut in a fan shape. Every other blade is bent up to form a cup for the little candle. This piece of tin is soldered to a heavy wire hook, on the end of which is a Plaster of Paris ball, painted red. The ball is for weight to hold the candle upright.

On Christmas night, after the meal was eaten and the dishes washed and put away, and long after the gifts were opened and enjoyed, either Dad or Mom would put a couple more logs on the fire in the fireplace. My brother, being the older of us, always got the honor of lighting the candles on the tree. We always made sure there was a bucket of water beside the tree – just in case!

The candles would be lit, the lights turned off, and we'd sit, usually in near silence, for nearly an hour while the candles slowly burned down. It was a wonderful time to meditate, to remember Christmases past, and for a small kid, a struggle to stay awake! As the candles burned down, my brother would take the brass candle snuffer and extinguish them one by one. For some reason the green candles always seemed to burn down quicker than the rest! After the candles were all out, we'd usually sit for a few more minutes, reflecting on the wonderful Christmas we'd enjoyed.

We kept our trees up until after New Year's Day. On New Year's Eve we'd repeat the candle lighting ceremony. Sometime after New Year's the trees would be taken down, the ornaments and those antique candle holders stored away to wait for the next Christmas. And no, we never set the tree on fire! The only accident we ever had was when I was a teenager – I leaned too close to one of the candles and caught my bangs on fire!

Wow, what a wonderful story. Thank you Nola! That must of been a beautiful site. The tree with the candles all lit...

What are some of your customs? I would love to hear them.

Till next time....


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas memories

Christmas memories can be fun. I grew up with 3 sisters and clearly remember all the fun Barbie doll stuff we got. One year it was a 3 story pink Barbie house we all had to share! What joy that was on Christmas morning, coming down the stairs to see that near the tree. One year it was a Barbie car, that was a lot of fun also.

And Christmas memories can be sad and depressing too. After my parents got divorced, those next few Christmas's were quite sad. Divorce is so hard on kids, who don't understand what is going on.

I have a hard time at Christmas still. Oh, I love the look of wonder and excitement on our children's faces. I love buying them just the right gifts, of decorating the house with their paper snowmen and making cookies to frost and decorate. We all love driving around at night and looking at the lights and displays. But my 3 sisters, Mom, Dad and I are all scattered in different states. No more of Mom's divinity candy (unless she makes some and sends it to us), no more going to church and hearing the sweet sound of Moms voice as she sings. Well, there are lots of no more's in my book. And I try not to dwell on the sad. So I wont continued to go down that road in this post. Back to the fun...

One year, we were able to get our then 3 yr old daughter a pink Barbie ride on jeep, the kind with the battery in it. You should of heard her scream of delight that Christmas morning. Her and older brother, and when younger brother was big enough, him too,had the best fun on that thing. They drove it till the battery would not work anymore, then they 'drove' it some more. Sometimes down a hill, sometimes with big brother pulling it. That jeep gave the kids at least 6 yrs of fun!

I mentioned divinity candy, and it IS divine!! I have yet attempted to make it on my own. I guess that is what makes it special, if Moms makes it and sends me some. But for myself, another treat that is made mostly just at Christmas is fudge. Both chocolate and peanut butter. These are a MUST at this time of year. Here are my recipes, I found them on the net about 5 yrs ago. I'm sorry, don't know where I found them or who put them out there. But they are scrumpious!


2 C brown sugar
1/2 C cocoa
1/2 C butter
1/2 C milk
2 tsp vanilla
3 C powder sugar

Put powder sugar in a large bowl.

In a medium sized pot, melt butter, add milk, brown sugar and cocoa. Bring to boil, and boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Take off heat, stir in vanilla. Pour over powder sugar and beat till most the lumps are gone.

Pour into round cake pan, pie plate, etc and let cool.


2 1/4 C brown sugar
1/2 C butter
1/2 C milk
3/4 C peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 C powder sugar

Put powder sugar in large bowl.

Melt butter, add milk and brown sugar. Bring to boil, and boil for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and add vanilla and peanut butter. Stir. Pour over powder sugar and beat till most the lumps are gone.

Pour into round cake pan, pie tin, etc. Cool

These fudge recipes are great to give someone in a pretty tin!

I hope you have lots fond, happy memories of Christmas past.

Enjoy the fudge!

Till next time....


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sashiko tutorial

Our next guest blogger is Jeri. Jeri lives in TX near Jess and is lucky enough to work with Jess and hang out at her house.

Jeri has given us a small tutorial on Sashiko.


“Bless you” as my friend Cathy said when I told her about my latest project. No, I didn’t really sneeze. Sashiko is a form of Japanese embroidery. Typically done on dark blue cloth with white thread, much of Sashiko’s beauty lies in the simplistic stitches that create intricate designs.

Here are the steps I follow to create sashiko designs.

1. First print out the design you like on card stock.

2. Cut out the parts you want to show up when you chalk your template.

Oops, I forgot to take a picture of the next few steps. So hear it is in word form.

3.Spray the wrong side of your template with temporary adhesive, and place it where you want it on your fabric.

4.Use some form of marking system to fill in the blank spaces. I use a Pounce, but tailors chalk works as well.

5. Now your piece should look like this.

6. I use white embroidery thread and go around the outline of the stencil. I can’t remember the name of the stitch, so here is a picture.

7. My final tip is to pay attention to stitch length and space length. You want these to be as even as possible. If you have several uneven stitches in a row, take a break.

I hope this has been a useful introduction to Sashiko. To see the finished product (someday), check out the forums.
Thank you Jeri! Looks like a fun project.

We are having thread challenge on the forum. If you are interested in participating, come on over to the forum and check it out, here. Then sign up as a member of the forum, and join in the fun. We would love to have you!

Till next time...


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Our first guest

Guest blogger that is.

Nola lives in Indiana, on a nice little farm. She has animals to attend to, and family all around her. Here is what she is doing for some Christmas gifts this year.

pillowcases, fleece blankets & pj’s - made with love by Grandma!

Guess I had too much fun earlier this year learning to make the Sausage Roll Pillowcases! Now my grand-girls have asked for pillowcases for Christmas – Monkey print for Lauren and Frog print for Caitlynn. My daughter decided her new man would like a set too, so I'm making Motorcycle pillowcases for Ryan – orange flames for the body with a motorcycle print for the cuff. And his two girls (soon to be my step-grand-girls) are both getting a set – wild colorful print for Ashlyn and something with lots of blue for Hayllie.

My son John collects military trucks (not scale model ones – the huge full-size things!) He has two from the Korean war era – an M211 6 x 6 and an M37/42 radio command truck. Also has an M715 from the Viet Nam war, complete with a bullet hole in the hood. While at a fabric store last weekend I found this really cute camo flannel with little army trucks on it! Yep, you guessed it! John is getting camo pillowcases for Christmas!

And fleece blankets!! OH MY! I can't see the top of my dining room table for the stacks of fleece waiting to be converted into blankets! This all started when my Esther made a motorcycle print fleece blanket for Ryan for his birthday. His family saw it and now they all want blankets – a snowman blanket for Grandma, a West Virginia sports blanket for Grandpa (he's from West Va.), a log cabin in the snow for Ryan's mom, a Farmall tractor blanket for my hubby's boss, and a red plaid for my John. There's even one just for me - pink and brown plaid! Ryan's girls want to learn how to make the knotted fleece blankets, so Esther bought fleece for them – she and I will get the fringe cut, then she will give them the fleece for Christmas – sort of a “do-it-yourself” Christmas gift!

And then there are the pajamas for the little girls! They were walking through the fabric department at Wal-Mart singing “Llama, llama, pink pajamas” (guess it's a story the youngest girl learned in school)! Caitie found frog flannel and Lauren spied the monkey flannel – so I guess I'll be sewing up some pj’s too!

Sigh! Guess I'll have to put all my quilt projects and plans on the back burner 'til after Christmas! Not even sure I'll have time to put up the Christmas tree! I'm off now to start cutting out all those pillowcases!"

Thank you Nola, sounds like you are pretty busy! Can't wait to see your creations.

Have a great day all,

Till next time,


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Are You Ready??
It's Time For The Quilt & Needle’s
Third Anniversary/Winter Mystery Quilt Weekend!
Join Us for the Fun!! December 4 & 5, 2010

It's time to celebrate the Quilt & Needle’s Third Anniversary! The Winter Mystery Quilt Weekend is this weekend, December 4th and 5th, and I do hope you will join us over at the Quilt and Needle Forum as we sew-n-solve the clues to Jess’ newest Mystery Quilt Pattern! Jess has again designed this year’s Winter Mystery Pattern in three different sizes for you to choose from: 60” square, 80” square or 100” square! You do NOT want to miss out on this newest mystery design - it is absolutely stunning! You can order your Mystery Pattern here and be ready to join the fun in December. You can also still order all four of the 2010 Mystery Quilt Patterns at a specially discounted group price here. If you choose this option, you will be emailed the patterns for the March Mystery, the Summer Mystery and the Fall Mystery when your order is processed.

Winter Mystery Quilt Pattern

The Moda Swirl fabrics Jess has specially chosen for this design absolutely scream “Winter”!! Aren’t they just delicious?? These fabrics remind me of snow swirls and ice skating – perfect for this time of year! You can order your fabric kit for the Winter Mystery Quilt here. Also, remember, when you buy a Fabric Kit, the Mystery Pattern is included in the price of your kit! And don't forget to order your Backing Fabric when you order your kit! Just let Jess know which fabric you wish to use for your backing or let her choose the backing fabric for you! Either way, it's the perfect way to finish your one-of-a-kind Jessica J. E. Smith designer original quilt!

Winter 2010 Mystery Quilt Fabric Kit for 100" size

Winter 2010 Mystery Quilt Fabric Kit for 80" size

Winter 2010 Mystery Quilt Fabric kit for 60" size

If you prefer another colorway than the blue Moda Swirls, Jess wants you to know that this pattern will work well in any color way, with any theme of fabrics, so feel free to shop your stash after purchasing the pattern.

Jess and I also LOVE to see pictures of your quilty creations sewn from Jess’ patterns!! Forum members who join us for any Mystery Weekends are welcome to post and share photos of their quilts on the Forum. If you are not a Forum Member and have made a quilt from any of Jess’ patterns, we would love to see your quilt! Just email a photo to me at and I will post your photo to the Quilt and Needle Forum album for that pattern’s quilts and post the photo to our Facebook albums, too!!

So, until next time, friends, remember: When all else fails, just fondle the fabric!!

Cindy Prince, aka MisisipiMenace, aka Miss Tassels
Jessica J.E. Smith
The Quilt and Needle

Christmas is coming...

It will be here sooner than we think. I am just amazed at how quickly days are going.

I thought it would be fun to share Christmas recipes, stories, memories...and of course, quilts with you this month. I also have some guest bloggers this month. A few with Christmas stories, a few with quilt related info.

I love to be in the kitchen, baking and cooking for my family. And Christmas time is one of the funnest times to be cooking. There are sooo many yummy treats out there. I love making food gifts for friends and family.

So to kick it off, I am going to share with you my families favorite Christmas cookie recipe. I started this about 8 yrs ago, or so. I was given a Nestle Toll House cookie cookbook one year, and this is where the recipe comes from. My husband is a huge chocolate fan, so when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it. And the kids love decorating them too. We made our first batch yesterday.

(this image was taken off google images)
Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies Recipe
2 c Semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
2 3/4 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp each salt, ground ginger, and cinnamon
3 tbls butter or margarine
3 tbls sugar
1/2 c molasses
1/4 water

Melt 1 1/2 c choco chips.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, and cinnamo
n in bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until creamy, beat in molasses and melted chocolate. Gradually add in flour mixture alternating w/water. Beat until smooth. Cover and chill for 1 hr, or until firm.

Roll half the dough to 1/4" thickness. Cut into shapes. Repeat w/other half.

Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 5 to 6 minutes or until edges are set but centers are still slightly soft.

Either frost w/a mixture of powder sugar and water or mel
t remaining chocolate chips and drizzle over cookies.

We've had a few snow weekends, finally! My kids and I love the snow. It's been the perfect days for hiding in my sewing corner of the family room. That's where the wood stove is! So not only is it toasty warm, but I have beautiful views to look at, while
I am sewing away.

Last year, I made these stockings for my family. My youngest son didn't want a homemade one, he was happy with his fuzzy one from Walmart with a puppy dog on it. But this year, he says I can make him one :)

What are you making this year?

I have some mug rugs to make (Yes, I have joined the craze!! I was told it's a good way to practice my new found machine quilting skills :) a few bags, maybe some pillow cases, a bedside caddy.....just to name a few things.

This coming weekend the Q&N is having our third anniversary mystery quilt weekend!! I'm sure it's going to be another gorgeous quilt, from our leader and great friend, Jess. Kits are available in the shop. And you can buy the pattern here.

I hope to see you join us!

Stay tuned, I'll be posting a bit more this month...I hope!

Till next time

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

All of us at the Quilt and Needle would like to wish you all out in blog land, a very Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your day is full of family, friends, good food and lots of laughter.

Here at the homestead, it's just going to be my little family of five. There is only one of us who likes dark meat, but most of it goes in the freezer, and then eventually to the dogs. So we decided to go with a half a turkey this year, the white half :) It's going to be odd cooking just the breast/back. But I'm sure it will be tasty. We have all the fixings ready, and my dd and I will be cooking up a storm on Wednesday, getting all the pies and breads made or ready to go in the oven on Thursday.

On the quilting front; I did the Oct mystery quilt in Christmas colors. I only did the medallion part of it, as my Christmas stash pile is sadly lacking. It's very scrappy, I made it with the 10" layer cakes that we swapped last year. It's a another great mystery, and you can still buy the pattern!

I think this would look great on the table, as a table cloth. But I will eventually quilt it and give it to my Mom. One of the red fabrics I used has a silouette of Elvis Presley, and she's always been a fan.

My practicing on the machine quilting is going well. Here is a small tree skirt I made.

And my pink baby quilt I was working on is just about done. I just need to do the binding. And decide if I want to quilt in the small border.

I have a laptop bag pattern I am working on. As well as a few more quilt patterns. I hope by the New Year I'll be ready to start selling some things. Wish me luck!

And I've finished piecing a top for one of our charity groups. This is a lovely pattern. My dh really like the color combo's.

The picture at the top of the blog is of our first snow fall of the season. We got 4" over the weekend. And now it's almost all gone. But we are expecting more this coming weekend. It's going to be fun having a white Christmas for once.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Till next time~


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Another mystery quilt

If you missed the Oct mystery quilt, and want to join the Gals at the Q&N in doing it again, we'll be having another mystery weekend this weekend! That's the 13th and 14th. You can buy the pattern here. It's another fabulous design! Would look gorgeous is Christmas colors.

Sign ups for our next Robin is coming to an end also. So if you want to join in that, come on over to the board and join us. This year it's going to be a row robin. We haven't done one yet, but it will be just as fun as ever. I love adding to someone else's work. It stretches the mind and sometimes makes you work outside your comfy box...which is a good thing.

On the home front. I am finally getting the hang of machine quilting! I don't have a long arm, just using my 1930's model White. I love this machine. It's so tough and durable. Right now I am just doing straight line quilting. I don't know if I will ever move on to free motion quilting or not. So for now, I am enjoying doing it this way. Here's what I'm working on.

I know.... I have much practicing to do. But I bet my neice will still love this quilt when it's done :)

I've also started my list of things to make for Christmas. I've found directions for fabric boxes and baskets, darling mug rugs and candle rugs, chocolate goodies and more. I love the Christmas season!

The skies have been beautiful lately. We've been having lots of clouds moving about, sometimes giving us some rain. Here is a sunset picture I took about a week ago.

I hope you'll come join the fun on the board.

Till next time!!


Sunday, October 31, 2010

I've been busy

After testing all of Jess's beautiful quilt patterns, for the past 4 yrs! (well, almost, I can't believe it's been that long!) I have decided to give my hand a try at pattern making. Like a lot of you, I have patterns bouncing around my head, trying to get out :)

So the past few weeks I've been working on those. I have 2 baby quilt tops all done, now I need to do some quilting on them and finish writing the patterns up. And one more I'm working on. They are easy, fun and stash busting! Here is a sneak peak at them.

I also have 4 'big' people quilt patterns and at least 3 bag patterns that I am trying to get written up. I am going to be making some, and selling least, that is the plan. Wish me luck :)

Over on the forum, we had a delightful mystery quilt weekend. If you missed it, you'll have another chance in a few weeks. I think it's the second weekend in Nov. So mark your calendars and come play. It's another fabulous pattern by Jess!

Our round robins from this year are starting to trickle home. I got my beautiful one in the mail a few days ago. I just LOVE IT. The Ladies did a fantastic job on it. Here's a picture.

Isn't it beautiful?


We are finally getting some cold weather at my house, no snow yet, but lots of rain. It's the perfect time to sit at the sewing machine, feel the woodstove crackling at my back, and sip hot tea or cocoa.

I hope you can come see us on the forum, and join in the fun sometime.

Till next time.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Scrappy stars...done

I've finished my scrappy stars top. It is much different from the one on the link I showed you. I had put all the smaller stars together, with no sashing, and just did not like the way it looked. I've learned that you really have to watch the color placement of each strip. Next time, I'll make the strips better, so that the stars emerge as they should.

But I like this top. I think it looks good with the sashings. When I made the larger 'stars', I had thought, before I pieced them into the top, that they came out good. But once you put them together, you can see that the colors of the strips are not quite right there either. You need to use dark/light on the outer two strips, and a medium/light for the middle strip, in order for the pattern to come out. Oh well, I still like it. And I'm sure it will help to keep a Veteran warm. This is just a lap size, but something nice to snuggle under while watching tv, etc.

Here are some block pieces I am making for a "storm at sea" quilt. It's for our Sept QOV (Quilt of Valor) recipient. I am going to be piecing this beautiful top. It's made in batiks of purples, blues and greens. It's going to be gorgeous!

Other happenings around the forum. We have moved the Oct mystery dates to the 22nd/23rd. So you have plenty of time to buy the pattern. And I'm sure if you ask Jess, she can kit it for you if you'd like.

We all have our Secret Santa friend, so have been browsing patterns and going thru fabrics, looking for just the right thing. I love this swap! It's so much fun making something for a friend, without her knowing who is doing it.

I also have the sign-ups for next years Round Robin going on. This year we are doing a Row by Row robin. You can find the thread here. Come on over and join us, it's lots of great fun!


Fall has finally arrived at my house. It's been beautiful weather, cloudy, rainy, and the next day sunny. Highs have been getting in the 60's and 70's. And cool at night. We have the woodstove going in the mornings and lots of firewood being cut up and stacked. I LOVE this time of year :)

Hope you all have a great day.

Till next time.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Thrift store finds

How many of you are thrift store goers? I love going to the thrift stores! I am always finding lots of great stuff.

I am a homeschooler, and love going to the local thrift store to see what I can find. Recently, I acquired these books. They are brand new, and only ONE dollar a piece!

We are also do-it-yourselfers, and the thrift stores are great finds for home improvement and do-it-yourself project books. Not to mention old and new fiction books. And as we are all verocious readers, this is a good deal.

There are also lots of crafts items at the thrifts stores. Like buttons and zippers. Ribbon and lace. yarn and knitting needles.

But my very favorite thing to find at the thrift store, is this:

Isn't she a beauty? It's a New Home, made in the 1930s, as far as I can tell, from the information I have read on them. In the 1950s, the New Home company was taken over by Janome sewing company. Now I just need to find another treadle, so the White I have at home wont feel so lonely, with my two old electrics :)

Oh, want to guess how much I paid for this machine??


Yes, SIXTEEN dollars. Amazing!!

This machine came with a quilters foot and a little seam regulator...I'm not sure what the name of it is. But you put it on your presser bar, and it helps you to keep the same distance between quilting rows. So maybe I'll finally learn to do some machine quilting :)

Of course, thrift stores have a lot of other great things in them too. But these are the things that I usually bring home.

I'm off to do some more sewing on my strippy stars quilt. I have a new plan, I was just not happy with the way it as coming out. I'll show you when I am done.

Have a wonderful, quilty day.

Till next time,

Monday, September 13, 2010

Progress and a finish

I am making progress on my scrappy stars. They are a bit hard to see, maybe that's why I have such a hard time with strips and scraps. It seems so busy. I am going to put a slim border around this set, and then make some stars that are just a bit bigger. That way I don't have to trim strips down any, and wont be wasting them. The bigger stars will go around this middle section.

At least......that is the plan, we'll see how it goes.

As for my finish, it is my Phires Compass. The wind was blowing a bit and pull and stretching it, but here it is. I just love the colors in this quilt.

On the forum news. We have a lovely black and white swap going on. I hope you were able to join us. Debbieann came up with a gorgeous quilt pattern for us to use with these layer cakes, if we want to.

Our mystery quilt weekend in coming up on Oct 2nd and 3rd. You don't want to miss that! The patterns are always fantastic.

We also have a secret Santa and a Christmas ornament swap going on. You can join us here and here.

Lots of fun going on. My household is getting ready for our first winter in our new home. We'll be getting SNOW! I can't wait!! I love snow, and so do my kids. And that thought wants me to get all my quilt tops, I think I have 15 now!, quilted. I think I need to learn machine quilting...

Have a great day!

Till next time,


Thursday, September 2, 2010


Blackberries signal the end of Summer, here in my next of the woods. My family and I have been busily picking them. They are nutrious, yummy and free! They grow all over the mountains here, and it only takes us about 20 minutes to drive to a creek where they grow so abundantly.

I've been making pies, cobblers and jam the past few days. I use whole wheat flour and honey in my recipes, so it makes this delisious goodness a bit more healthy for us :)

My fabric has taken on a 'blackberry' theme too. Here is a purse I made. With my dd's help (she is only 12!), I finally figured out the zippered pocket. I wanted it done a specific way, so that I had two large pouches on either side of a large zippered pouch. And then I have two small pockets on the inside and the black fabric on the outside, is also pockets. So plenty of room to keep all my stuff.

Those are not actually blackberries on the black fabric, but they are some sort of berries, and their leaves look similar to wild mountain blackberries.

I've also been working on Jess's pattern that she made for Northcott. You can contact Jess for the pattern.

I am testing this pattern, and I can tell you, it is FABULOUS. If you haven't made a Jess pattern yet, you are in for a treat. She has beautiful creations, well written patterns, with lots of visual aids.

My version I think I will rename "Blackberries and cream" that is what it reminds me of. Here is part of it, I am still working on the border.

We are getting more blackberries tomorrow...I love seeing a larder full of Summer goodness!

Have a great day.

Till next time,


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It's time for our second Mystery Pattern contest! The prize is a free copy of Jess' new 2010 Fall Mystery pattern for the upcoming Mystery Weekend on September 18th & 19th!

For the next week and a half, all you have to do is post a picture of a quilt that you have completed during 2010! If your quilt is completely finished, as in quilted and bound, then your name goes into the pot twice for that entry. If your entry is of the completed quilt top only, then you still get a chance with your name going into the pot once. Only ONE picture per entry but you may enter as many photos as you like to this blog posting as well as to the Quilt & Needle's Forum thread and our Facebook status - however, you can only win once!

So get your photos out and posted by midnight CDT (that's central daylight time) September 10th! Jess and I will draw the winner's name from all comment entries and let y'all know on Saturday, September 11th. We will contact the winner on September 11th to get their email address to send their prize on the Mystery Quilt Weekend.

We are looking forward to mucho eye candy!

By the way, if the chosen winner has already purchased this 2010 Fall Mystery pattern, the winner may select one of the previously published patterns from the Quilt & Needle webstore

Friday, August 27, 2010

Tonight's Discussion Session - 1/4" Seams and Proper Stitch Lengths!

Join Jess and me tonight as Jess gets back to the basics of piecing quilt blocks! Jess is going to discuss 1/4" seam allowances and stitch lengths and why these techniques are so important to the construction of a great quilt! We encourage ALL quilters of every skill level to join us tonight (Friday, August 27, 2010) in the Snug Chatroom at 6:00 P.M. Central as our more experienced quilters will have the opportunity to share their wealth of knowledge, hints and tips with other quilters who have yet to have as many quilty moments with their craft. This promises to be a lively and informative Discussion Session! Looking forward to see you there!

a/k/a MisisipiMenace and Ms. Tassels

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Frustrations...and turning it around

Ever have one of 'those' days? You know, the days when nothing you do is right...when Mr. seam ripper is your best friend.

My dear husband made me a sign for 'those' days. I used to have it hanging over my sewing table, but it got packed away and I haven't unearthed it yet. I need to though, as it reminds me :

"BAD DAY? Go away, not here should you play!"

That's what the sign says. LOL. And it reminds me when I'm having one of 'those' days, the best thing to do is go and read, or blow up balloons for my 6yr old, or anything else but sew.

I was having one of 'those' days last week. And stupidly decided that this scrappy stars pattern that I found here: would make the perfect pattern for one of our charity groups. Our Snug society group, where we make lap quilts for a Veteran's organization.

So, I got out some strips that I have and happily pulled all the red, white and blues out. Then I cut the strips 8" long and happily sewed them together......and this is where it went all wrong. Even though I had printed out the tutorial, I figured I didn't need to look at it, as I pretty much understood what I had to do...that was the first mistake. I clearly failed to read the part that said "Each rectangle (that you cut) will be 4"x 7 1/2"!

But I still hadn't realized this....I merrily sewed whites to blues, and two different reds together, then put three of the strips together so it went white/ I wanted to make sure that the whites where in the 'corners' so that they would make a white star.

Luckily I only sewed about 15 strips together, before I had to lay 4 of them together in a square to see the star......and that's when I realized the mistake I made! My strips were 2" wide...and I cut them 8" long. So that when the three strip pieces were together, they made a 4.5"x11" rectangle....and you can't put those dimension rectangles together in the proper way to make this work! Your 3 strip block has to be a square, so that you can turn every other one horizontal.

That's when I knew it was time to pull out my sign....

Fast forward to today. I decided that I would cut the length of the strips that I already had pieced together down to match the width. So that I now have 4.5' squares, and when you put 4 of those together, you come up with a star....

Can you see the star?

So now, I have strips that are 3" wide and some that are 3.5" or 4" wide. What I plan to do is make different sized scrappy stars, and still put them together into a lap sized quilt. I think it will look great!

Now that my Australian friend recieved her table runner I made, I thought I'd show it all to you.

So put a sign on your wall, and when you're having one of 'those' days....go do something else instead of sewing.

Have a great day.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010


How many of you do that? Procrastinate...that's what I am doing right now. I should be doing this:
But I hate trimming! Anyone else hate the process too?? I KNOW that trimming my blocks is the best thing, as then they are all prepped and pretty so they sew together more easily. But honestly, it is a B-O-R-I-N-G task.

So, instead I decided to come and do some chatting, and surfing. I need to update the album on our forum, for the Sweet Child charity quilts that we make. I love making quilts for those who need some extra love.

We have 3 different charity organizations that we donate to. Every month we make a quilt or two, all blocks, backing fabric and batting are lovingly donated by our members, and lovingly put together and quilted, by which ever member has the time and want to do it.

So far this year, we have made 20 quilts!! HURRAY!! We decided to take January off, to catch up. As last year we had SO many tops made. We needed to give the quilters time to catch up. We also decided that the months of Nov. and Dec. will be our catchup months from now on. As those two months is so busy for us crafters.

So back to my procastination....I've been having fun out in blog land lately. There is so much inspiration out there! Not only from other quilters/crafters, but also from nature, buildings, home decor, etc. I was looking on this blog AMAZING pictures of buildings in Europe. Look at all those patterns. Just gets the mind whirling with all the possibilities.

Another great blog for inspiration is Has anyone bought Cherry's book, City Quilts? I haven't seen it yet, but there are lots of photos of her quilts, on her blog, that got inspired by the city around her. Just fantastic!!

I am slowly starting to see patterns everywhere I look. I don't have a quilt program for my computer yet. But I love to draw, so I keep a few sketch books and pens/pencils handy for any ideas.

Ok, I've procrastinated long enough....back to the cutting board!

Till nex time....


Friday, August 6, 2010

Table Runners

It looks like the year of the table runner in my house. Since table runners are smaller versions of quilts, it's much easier to get them finish and displayed, than a bed sized quilt :)

Here are some sneak peaks at the three I've been working on this Summer. One of them is one it's way to Australia. My table runner swap partner lives there. I don't want to show the whole thing off yet, as I don't want her to see it till she gets it.

The other two are for some good friends of mine. Again, I don't want them to see the whole thing yet, so that's why the sneak peeks only.

Looks like I still need lots of practice in the applique area...I'm sure my friend will love it anyways....don't friends always?!

One of these days, I'll make one or two to go on my own table :) I just enjoy making things for others.

I like flower fabrics, can you tell? The top runner is made with the Roses line of fabrics by Jackie Robinson. I just love this line! The roses are so beautiful.

The second runner also has some Maywood flowers, some from the He Loves Me Too line, and some from Little Lulu. Maywood is one of my favorite manufactorers.

The bottom runner has some of my favorite fabric in it also. Connie, from here at the Q&N, hand dyed the blue and green fabrics. They are SO lovely and soft!

What do you have on your table?

Till next time...


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer Funk??

Is anyone is a Summer funk when it comes to sewing? Too much lazing around enjoying the sun and water? Well, come join us on Saturday the 31st. Hop on to the forum and join in the virtual quilting bee.

There are a few members of our forum that have the Summer blues big time, so we are all going to gather round our computers and hop up to our sewing machines, back and forth...back and forth...and "make-something-for-yourself".

I have recently done up a nice, cozy curtain for one of our bedroom windows. We live in snow country now, we will need something to help keep the heat in, and cold out. Isn't it bright and cheerful??

So I'll be making another one this Saturday, for our other window. It wont be just like this one, but same colors, similar style.

We are starting to come to an end in our Round Robin swap. I'm so excited! I'm a non-peeker, I haven't looked at my round robin since I sent off the medallion. So I have no idea what it looks like, I just know it's going to be awesome though!

Our Summer table runner swap is nearing the finish date too. We have some lovely runners already made and sent to swap partners. You can view them here:

I have my partner's runner all finished, just need to pop it in the mail. It's going to Australia, so I want to get it out as soon as I can. I can't wait to see what my partner has made me!

If you missed last weeks Summer Mystery, head over to the Q&N store and buy it! It's another cute, lovely mystery pattern from Jess.

OH, and Jess is holding a sale this weekend! You don't want to miss that. Head over to the Q&N store, and see what goodies she has at 25% off all fabric and kits! including sale stuff that is already reduced!!! WoOHOO!

Have a great day all, hope to see some of you at the forum!

Till next time...


Saturday, July 10, 2010


YAY!!!! Congrats to Delia of New Hampshire! Sammy Joe drew her name as the winner of the Summer Mystery Quilt Pattern contest. Delia has already chosen her fabrics to use when she receives her prize pattern!

Here is Delia's tip that she posted on our Quilt and Needle Forum:
"My tip is to use large, plastic paper clips to hold your binding in place for hand-stitching. They clamp down nicely, don't hurt or stain the fabric, can be easily moved along out of your way, and won't prick your fingers. Oh, and they're cheap. Love 'em"

Thanks for the great tip, Delia!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

CONTEST! Win a 2010 Summer Mystery Pattern!

Jess and I have decided to host a little contest! The prize is a free copy of Jess' new 2010 Summer Mystery pattern for the upcoming Mystery Weekend on July 17th & 18th!

For the next two weeks, all you have to do is leave a comment stating your favorite tip or trick about quilting! Only ONE tip or trick per comment but you may comment as many times as you like to this blog posting as well as to the Quilt and Needle Forum thread and our Facebook status - however, you can only win once!

So get your thinking caps on and get your favorite quilty tips and tricks posted by midnight CDT (that's central daylight time) July 9th! Jess and I will draw the winner's name from all comment entries and let y'all know on Saturday, July 10th. We will contact the winner on July 10th to get their email address to send their prize on the Mystery Quilt Weekend.

We are looking forward to the wealth of your quilty experiences!

By the way, if the chosen winner has already purchased this 2010 Summer Mystery pattern, the winner may select one of the previously published patterns from the Quilt & Needle webstore.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Well Summertime has arrived! I am really enjoying our new place. No more hot, hot summers for 4 or 5 months. We'll get some heat later in the Summer, but right now it's warm and sunny with some breezes. Just perfect in my opinion!

I've really been enjoying all the creative blogs out there. It helps to keep the inspiration up and find new and fun things to make. My 1930s swap fabric has been calling to me. At first, I was going to match it up with some nice, bright white and do a Irish chain pattern. But I don't keep white in the house, only buy it if I need it for some charity blocks or baby blocks. So I couldn't wait to go buy some white, and just decided to do something different with the 30s fabrics....I wished I would of waited. I use some of the fabric in a pinwheels pattern, and have decided that it's just too 'busy'. I should of used some solid, either for the pinwheels or the it's back to the drawing board. I'll have to get some solids to use, or go with white.

We're gearing up for Summer at the Q&N too. We have a table runner swap in progress right now. Gilly from Australia is my swap partner. I had fun coming up with a pattern for her, to fit her octagonal kitchen table. Can't show it to you yet though, as it's a surprise and I don't want to Gilly to see it.

We also have a mystery weekend coming up next month. I'll give you a positive date on that soon. That will be super, as always! Jess makes awesome mystery quilts.

What are you doing with your Summer? Any vacation plans? My summer will be full of getting our new place in shape. And getting ready for the cold winter months.

Stop by the Q&N, and see what we're up to. We have lots and lots of albums full of inspiration for you!

Till next time...


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Awww, Spring again...

At least it is for me. My family and I have moved into a dream spot for us. We are up out of the valley now, into the pines of the mtns. At 3500 ft in elevation, it's just perfect. The kids and I get the snow we love to play in, and Daddy still gets a decent growing season for our veggies.

So I am getting Spring weather all over again. Which is fine with me, I love Spring. All the beautiful flowers are starting to bloom. I have purple and yellow Iris's and lots of red rose bushes. These were already planted here. So now I get the fun of finding more flowers to go with all these.

Planting flowers is kind of like putting together a patchwork quilt. LOL. You pick your colors that go well together, and put them in a pleasing pattern. So Spring flowers always make me want to choose lovely Spring colors and flowers for my quilts and things that I make.

Lately I have got the bag 'bug'. I just love making bags! Hand bags, tote bags, grocery bags...there are so many beautiful patterns out there. Here is my laptop bag. I used the gorgeous Roses Fabrics from Jackie Robinson, of Maywood.

Her fabrics are so lushish!! I just love roses.

Speaking of Jackie Robinson, are any of you doing her quilt block challenge? That was what I was working on last month. I am so excited!! Thanks to Jess and her Mom, Connie, here at the Q&N, I have found my inner self who has been just dying to make my own patterns. Thank you Jess and Connie!!! (Wish me lucky everyone, please!) Here is Jackie's contest:

Ok, bag to the bags...
On the Q&N yesterday we had a Saturday Special. That's where Cindy will decide upon a theme, or maybe share a pattern, and we all do it and share pictures, etc. Yesterday's theme was handbags. Here is the link to that thread:

I shared a bag that I made a pattern for. It was just a sample bag, now I have to work out the kinks and remake it. I love my black leather purse, but it is showing signs of wear. So I am trying to copy it a bit, not exactly, but close. Here it is:

It's still missing it's strap, but I was too busy with sick kids yesterday to finish it.

We are also gearing up for next months Mystery quilt. So hope on over and join us, Jess's mysteries are wonderful! And it's only $9.95 to do one!!

Hope to see you soon!!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April Showers....

Bring May the saying goes. If that's the case, our hillside is going to be nothing but flowers next month :)

But all this rain helps me to stay inside and visit with Mr White, my treadle sewing machine. I have been working on some secret blocks, I'll tell you about them next month. Once done with those, I've been trying to get myself caught up on the blocks for our forum.

Our charity quilts are moving along smoothly. We've made one for each of our 3 charity groups, for Feb, March and well on our way into the April ones. You're welcome to come join us in this endeaver.

Someone said that something must of been put in the water system, as we have lots and lots of baby quilts to make this year too! LOL Not only are a few of our members expecting a bundle of joy, but many, many of the Grandma's are expecting Grandbabies too. And we all love making baby quilts, so we've been making them like crazy!

I can't wait for us to get our swap fabric back this time. We are doing a '30s repo swap, and I know what quilt pattern I want to make. It's flowers, right?!...and one of my favorite blocks, the Irish Chain. I think I might applique some flowers in the big squares. Then again, these beauties would look lovely in a Jacob's ladder pattern too, with a crisp, white background...hmm, decisions, decisions... So many wonderful patterns to choose from. And the 30s prints are in high style right now. I am seeing loads of great patterns with them, all with crisp, white backgrounds. What is your favorite pattern to do with these 30's fabrics?

Keep your sewing machines humming merrily along, and come join us for a chat and fun :)

Till next time,


Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Fun of March

March seems to be the time when the quilting bug starts really hitting. There are retreats and quilt shows popping up all over the place. Must be Springtime. Unfortantely, my LQS just recently closed, I have to drive an hour North or South to get to a quilt store. Not only that, but the local quilt guild only puts on a show every other year.

So hear I am, listening to the talk of the Ladies on the Q&N who went to Tomball to the retreat Jess has there every year. Wanting to go to a quilt show. Or at least go browse a shop. Guess it's time for a town trip :) Another of our members was talking about a local shop hop she went on. How fun is that! I need to find an area nearby that does those. And then I remember, and see ads for, the online shop hop. Cool, at least I can go window shopping on my computer.

I am having a great time. Finding new stores, and seeing all the new fabs and gadgets coming out. I'm going to try real hard to find most the bunnies too. I've decided to make folders on my favorites list, one for each of my favorite designers/manufacturers. The stores that I find on the shop hop that have a lot of my favorties for good prices, go into a folder. My favorites list has grown quite a bit in the last few days. LOL.

More fun in March. Jess always has a mystery quilt when she goes to the retreat. If you haven't tried one of her mystery quilts yet, you are really missing out. She is a fabulous designer! I choose bright, Spring colors for my mystery this year. And it sure does bring in the sunshine.

And to top that off, we are having a lovely 1930's repro fabric swap! I've just ordered my fabric (found it when I was shop hopping ) and can't wait to get a bunch of lovelies back. I have a great pattern for a hexagon table cloth that would look adorable in these.

Have fun hopping and shopping. Don't forget to stop in Jess's store and look at her yummy fabric kits.

Till next time.